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Eco-activists damage French golf course to be used for Olympics

The green was dug up and graffiti left saying: ‘they are building golf courses, we want forests’

The Golf National near Paris hosted the Ryder cup in 2018 Pic: Isogood_patrick / Shutterstock

A golf course set to be used during the 2024 Paris Olympics has been damaged by eco-activists who dug up the green and left graffiti demanding action on biodiversity. 

The damage to the Golf National, in Guyancourt (Yvelines), near Paris, is estimated at €2,000. The number eight hole suffered the most damage.

The vandals, who are presumed to be militant ecologists, are thought to have targeted it during the night of Friday November 3. 

Around the number eight hole, they left graffiti saying “they are building golf courses, we want forests,” and “220 km2 for golf courses, 0 km2 for biodiversity”.

The golf course has filed a complaint with the Gendarmerie.

Nonetheless, the Golf National told The Connexion that the course had not needed to close and that the damaged hole would be repaired “very quickly.”

The repairs are expected to take place on Tuesday (November 7) when the course closes each week for scheduled maintenance.

The MP for Yvelines, Charles Rodwell, who spoke with The Connexion last year, told Le Journal du Dimanche that while people may have sympathy for the ecologists’ cause, their methods are wrong.

“You can defend the environment without having to resort to such scandalous methods,” he said. “These methods affect the work of tens of people.” 

The Golf National, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2018, has been vandalised by militant ecologists before.

In 2022, the site was targeted by members of UK-founded group Extinction Rebellion, which aims to use non-violent means to raise awareness about climate change, the loss of biodiversity and ecological collapse.

On that occasion, they dug holes, planted trees and left signs denouncing the ecological impact of golf.

However, the group has not claimed responsibility for the damage on Friday night. 

The Connexion has contacted Extinction Rebellion for a comment. 

The Golf National is not the only course to be targeted by militant ecologists. 

In 2022, the Saint-Cloud golf course (Hauts-de-Seine) was raided by the group Sanglier.es syndicalisé.e.s, who planted a vegetable patch on the green.

Read more:

Eco activists write on French golf course to denounce ‘water hoarding’ 

What sports can the public access for free at the Paris 2024 Olympics?

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